Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Earthshake (review)

Lisa Westberg Peters. Earthshake: Poems from the Ground Up. Illus. Cathie Felstead. New York: Greenwillow, 2003. 32pp. Grades 4th-8th.

This poetry book could be the next School House Rock for eager young geologist. Although the format looks easy; these poems are for sophisticated young readers possessing more developed minds. Once the correct audience gets a hold of these poetic earth gems they will have a better understanding and enjoyable way to remember difficult physical concepts. For example, the continental plates sit on the continental shelves of earth’s dishwasher and Peters ask the reader to just let the forks in the river soak. Old faithful becomes a land locked underground whale that shoots water through his blow hole and flicks his tail causing mild tremors. The poems also encourage kids to look around and find geodes by the side of the road or fossilized clams in their sidewalk. The illustrations are mesmerizing in blues, greens, and oranges; plus the cut out maps suggest a day of outdoor exploring. Teachers can use these short surprising poems to begin all types of classroom discussions as students hear about China’s clay hills, Washington State’s sea cliffs and Michigan’s sand dunes. Let Earthshake flow like lava and be prepared for the river of ideas it exposes.

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